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Re: making a sound unrecognizable
As Valeriy mentioned, a few years ago I created some "chimerical"
environmental sounds by combining the envelope of one with the spectrum of
another (different from the "chimerical sounds" in Lewicki, 2002). While
they were unrecognizable to untrained listeners in open set format,
listeners who were trained on the original sounds were remarkably good at
selecting at least one of the sounds that went into the composite (most
often they could name the sound that had contributed the spectrum). So in
order to make a sound totally "unrecognizable" you must greatly obscure
both the spectral and temporal structure, at which point it is a valid
question as to whether it is that "sound" anymore.
Fastl also did some manipulations on train sounds to make them
acoustically similar to train sounds but not recognizable as train
If you like I can send you the Matlab code